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Large Fiberglass Tanks

Large diameter tanks are sought after for a variety of reasons.  When designed properly FRP materials can provide excellent high-temperature capabilities and solvent resistance. Depending on resin selection and other design factors, unique characteristics may be enhanced. In general, FRP withstand many acids, alkalis and oxidizing chemicals. Another one of those reasons is that there can often be an inversely proportional relationship between the cost to store a material and the diameter of the tank; in many cases the cost per gallon to store a material goes down as the diameter of the storage tank goes up. Thus, in some cases large fiberglass tanks may be a means to a more cost-effective solution.

There are many strengths to utilizing fiberglass in your project design. Large diameter fiberglass tanks can be designed with advantageous features suitable for a broad range of applications including, wastewater treatment, oil and gas, chemical processing and agricultural—just to name a few.  Fiberglass is versatile and importantly can be corrosion and abrasion resistant.  When designed properly, large diameter fiberglass tanks can leverage key attributes of fiberglass materials, such as, high strength-to-weight ratio, dimensional stability, long life cycles and low maintenance.

Our large diameter fiberglass tanks can be fabricated to meet your project specifications and meet industry standards; our custom tanks satisfy ASTM D-4907 (contact molded) and ASTM D-3299 (filament wound) standards.  Our sizes range from 12” to 14’ in diameter, with heights as required, custom diameters are available.  Our typical fiberglass tank design limits for pressure and vacuum is +/- 15 psig. Custom applications that exceeding these limits are special projects and are within our capabilities.

We offer horizontal and vertical tanks with customized support systems including saddles and support legs for horizontal tanks.  Regardless of whether this is a new project or an upgrade we can build per your specifications—our high-quality fabrications can also be designed to fully integrate into your existing infrastructure.  Unique and custom tank head and base configurations can be engineered and fabricated to meet your needs. In addition to customized support systems we offer fiberglass ladders, walkways, platforms, decking, support rails, hand rails, stairways and fencing that will enhance and compliment your current design.

In many cases fiberglass tanks larger than 14’ in diameter are not economical to ship, shop-fabrication, field-fit and field erection may then be necessary for custom jobs larger than standard sizes.  More often than not, large diameter, field erected FRP tanks are fabricated using the same materials of construction and fabrication methods as standard shop fabricated tanks. Each service environment is unique and requires special attention to engineering considerations. Special considerations such as concentration, temperature, and pressure, vacuum will need to be addressed to ensure that the product being fabricated is optimized to enhance its performance and meet your specifications. To a large degree your service environment and specifications will influence many important design elements such as resin selection, laminate schedule and corrosion barrier.

Large Fiberglass Tanks

  • 12” to 14’ diameter standard, with heights as required
  • Standard materials and custom formulations
  • ASTM D-4907 (contact molded tanks)
  • ASTM D-3299 (filament wound tanks)
  • Typical design limits for pressure and vacuum +/- 15 psig—custom options available

Beyond design, engineering and fabrication, Beetle can assist you with procurement assistance, anchors guides and support systems, maintenance inspections, supervision repair and installation services, equipment rebuilding, and on-site modifications. Our project management and field At Beetle we offer FRP leadership; design intelligence, far-reaching capabilities, capacity, and over 50 years of fiberglass experience. Let’s share a conversation and get started.

Wastewater Systems and Fiberglass

Wastewater systems will vary in scale and complexity depending on the application; common wastewater systems are designed to meet the needs of housing developments, municipalities, resorts, public parks, sanitary stations, rural development, recreation areas, and schools—just to name a few. One of the most common problems related to wastewater systems is their susceptibility to corrosion. This issue is of particular concern for facility managers, planners and engineers who must adhere to stringent Federal, State and local regulations. Fiberglass provides stability and assurance to those who need solutions; custom-fabricated fiberglass products are ideal for wastewater systems—when designed properly, to specification, they are structurally sound, watertight, corrosion and abrasion resistant, and most importantly—a cost effective option.

Within wastewater treatment systems, regardless of whether they have been designed for treating 1,000,000 gallons per day or more, or for small commercial use, hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid may potentially cause degradation to infrastructure and/or lead to corrosion issues. Anaerobic conditions provide environments that feed acid generating microbes. Fiberglass that has been designed and fabricated with a corrosion barrier is an ideal materials solution in many wastewater applications, especially where anaerobic conditions are persistent.

Fiberglass brings versatility to the table—among much else including light-weight, high strength-to-weight ratio, it can also be designed to meet vacuum specifications—an important component in some wastewater applications. Fiberglass applications in the wastewater or water purification industry include, but are not limited to, chemical water treatment, industrial waste water treatment, lime-soda treatment, chlorine, disinfection, clarification, demineralization, oil demulsification, metal precipitation, odor, control, bioaugmentation, and the processing/handling/storage of many chemical precipitants, coagulants, flocculants, and defoamers.

Corrosion is a systemic issue that plagues just about every aspect of our life. According to one recent study released by NACE and CC technologies, the US production and manufacturing sector alone reports and estimated $17.6 billion annually in damages—this includes major industries such as agriculture, petroleum, power generation, and pulp and paper. In particular, the water and wastewater sector accounts for approximately $36 billion or 14% of the direct cost of corrosion in the U.S. alone, a staggering $276 billion dollars annually.

According to NACE International, “Both public and private water and wastewater agencies throughout the United States have infrastructure assets ranging in value, from millions to billions of dollars. Assets include, dams, aqueducts, tunnels, transmission/collection pipelines, water and wastewater treatment plants, pumping plants, distribution pipelines and storage.” Research has shown that fiberglass is a sound option for replacing many traditional materials, specifically in water related applications, materials such as concrete, steel alloys, cast iron, ductile iron, brass, copper and or any other material that cannot withstand corrosive attack.

Think of the possibilities; within the wastewater industry there are many ideal jobs for fiberglass—projects where functionality is critical and where long life cycles can have huge returns. Custom fiberglass materials could be used for dosing tanks, surge tanks, settling tanks and other accessories for tank systems including baffle walls, railings, ladders, decking, and fencing. In some systems where chemical applications are necessary batching stations have been designed using fiberglass for both storage, containment and general infrastructure. When it comes down to it, more than anything else, fiberglass can provide effective corrosion systems that have the potential to reduce plant downtime and maximize output.

Storing Sulfuric Acid Using Fiberglass as a Material of Construction

storing sulfuric acidChoosing the proper material of construction for acid storage is critical to the success of your project and will depend on a number of factors, such as, storage temperature, concentration or purity, tank size, and costs.  By many accounts carbon steel is the most common material of construction for this application. However, there are other options, for example, fiberglass, which has been employed in some of the most chemically aggressive and corrosive environments in a multitude of industries including chemical processing and storage.  With respect to alloys, as materials of construction, stainless steel, anode protection, and or phenolic or glass linings are sometimes utilized, perhaps less frequently, and their use often contingent upon design specifications.

Fiberglass is a unique material that can be utilized effectively for corrosive storage, including sulfuric acid.  When considering the entire portfolio of benefits an end-user may leverage or enjoy when employing fiberglass it becomes clear that there are multi-functional attributes of fiberglass that may increase its cost-effectiveness.  Further, the constructability of custom fiberglass materials imparts multi-functional qualities that are desirable, such as, ease of installation and design synchronization; fiberglass designed to your specifications will interface with existing infrastructure or plant layout.  You’ll want to refer to a resin manufacture guide and or speak with our team of engineers to discuss specifications and design considerations

Perhaps often overlooked in these types of articles is the interdependence between complex operating systems and their functional components or elements of design (tanks, pipe, etc.). Moreover, fiberglass boasts long-life cycles in extremely corrosive environments and it should be considered that there may exist a significant connection between fiberglass and resiliency of the plant or and or operation, and or sustainability of function regarding plant operations. How does a plant or complex system deal with change or a disturbance in flow of day-to-day operations?  Fiberglass may provide some answers to this question by providing a diverse range of positive attributes. Which is to say, there is something worth exploring or potentially redeeming about the notion of adaptability in the context of the materials used, flexibility of the plant, relationships or connections that exist between life-cycles, cost-effectiveness, service life, ease of repair, and importantly—reduced plant down time.

Corrosion resistance is chief among concerns for any firm handling acids or other corrosives such as sulfuric acid. Corrosion resistance of fiberglass is a function both of resin content and the specific resin used in the laminate.  Generally speaking, the higher the resin content, the more corrosion resistant the laminate.  The inherent corrosion resistant characteristic of our fiberglass materials makes it a cost-effective, strong, lightweight solution for corrosion resistant equipment applications in the chemical process industries. The selection of the proper type and thickness of the corrosion barrier/liner can more than double the service life of the material. When storing or handling sulfuric acid, the addition of a corrosion barrier/liner is essential and can become an important cost savings to the end- user, providing the lowest cost per year of service life.

There are few good options for storing sulfuric acid.  Fiberglass is an exceptional material of construction when considering the entire portfolio of benefits is imparts to the end-user, and a highly effective option for the storage of sulfuric acid.  Fiberglass benefits include: high strength-to-weight ratio, can be customized/formulated for corrosion resistance, abrasion resistance, smoke retardance, posses long life-cycles when compared to other materials, ease of repair, and overall durability. 

Corrosive Chemical Storage Problem Solved Using Fiberglass Tanks

When the team at a chemical processing plant needed a new solution for corrosive chemical storage they reached out to a number of tank suppliers and asked them to solve a few core problems.  The existing rubbr lined HDPE tanks were being used to protect against the corrosive nature of the material being stored but were not meeting the needs of the customer.  The rubber liner erodes after a few years and required re-lining causing significant downtime and added costs.

corrosive chemical storage tankThe HDPE leached acid and could not meet the pressure and vacuum requirements. The solution needed to safely store chemicals with very low pH for an extended period at a high temperature.

The tanks needed to be built for an ambient temperature range of 20 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit, allow agitation, and not require an internal coating that needed to be repaired or replaced.

“We chose Beetle based on their experience and expertise with this type of corrosive material storage tank.  The fiberglass solution they provided was the best investment in terms of cost and avoiding downtime.  The fiberglass chemical storage tanks from Beetle were delivered on time or even early and the installation and after sales service has been excellent.”

The tanks Beetle supplied were 12’ diameter by approximately 16’ tall and were designed to integrate into the customer’s processes.  One tank was a flat bottom and the other design a conical bottom both of which were custom made to fit the customer’s specific process needs.

Beetle Plastics, founded in the 1950’s, designs and manufactures custom fiberglass pipe, large diameter fiberglass ductwork, fiberglass tanks, fiberglass vessels, other equipment and services relating to fiberglass products. 

Beetle Plastics is a subsidiary of Midwest Towers, Inc., a world-class manufacturer of evaporative water cooling towers. Beetle Plastics operations include our headquarters and plant facilities in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and a nationwide network of sales and representative offices.